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schedule of call ins and author presentations. coming up next, booktv presents after words, and hour-long prpl where we invite guest hosts to interview authors. this week kofi annan latest book intervention, a life in war and peace. he discusses the tenure at the head of the international organization and the establishment of the global aids and health fund. he talks with the bbc. thank you much for joining me. the book is intervention. i'd like to start with the biggest intervention, the most famous intervention of your time as secretary general. it was iraq. it was a contentious issue. you spend a lot of time writing about this in the book and you reintegrate your thoughts that it was not a legitimate war. you write, it's 9/11 changed the world, the consequences of the
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iraq war were the similarly dramatic magnitude. why do you say that >> guest: i say that because the iraq war really left with the international community and i'm not just talking about the u.n. i'm talking about the impact on communities and groups in the middle east. and beyond. and the sense that the world has been broken in to groups and some were being targeted or profiles who felt very strongly about this, and this is about a war on which they the international community was divided. not approve it and i've personally believed we should have give the inspectors the weapons inspectors more time to do their work in iraq and come back with a report to the security counsel but the counsel
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had that won saddam hussein, that if you do not [inaudible] there would be serious consequences to determine the firstly whether he has performed with the inspectors or not and secondly determent what the consequences should be. obviously when it comes to use of force, any country has a right to defend itself. but when it comes to broader peace and security issues, one cannot do it without the you sneak legitimate sei of the security counsel. >> why a lasting legacy? now that american iraq -- [inaudible] the legacy of extreme islamic terrorism with us every day. >> it is with us every day because i would say the war is dusted and done. but on iraq and the iraq is rather traumatic.
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people are being killed in iraq every day and i was in iraq in july, talking to the prime minister we discuss syria and it was concerned about what could happen using the experience and telling me that of course that the war in iraq energize the jihadist who rushed to iraq to fight. and i think we are likely to say the same in syria if we don't handle it properly. >> there's a global impact from iraq. >> a global imaik. >> host: you start the book about a revealing story of colon powell. it might be eat americans were about to find weapons of mass destruction. and he said to you with a smile on the face, you write, they made an honest man of me. what do you mean? >> guest: i can understand that. i think basically he made the case for weapons of mass
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destruction in iraq, and for a while we couldn't find it. and so if they have found it it was indication that finally we found something and it was more of a relief than anything else. >> host: do you think it was used to make a case he didn't believe in? >> guest: i'm not not sure i can say that. he had statute. he very high reputation, and [inaudible] international community and all the foreign ministers had said some time ago he was a star of the foreign minister. he had incredible credibility. >> host: do you feel that his presentation to the united nations which was so critical in making the bush measures' case for invading iraq was a [inaudible] that was just defined. >> guest: no. i think what we have seen there were no weapons of mass
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destruction and i'm not sure that with or without that presentation, the bush administration wouldn't have gone to war anyway. i think they had decided to go. >> host: you are pointed in your criticism of america when it comes to the war in iraq. the perception of the global community was that network was engaraged and vengeful. >> guest: that's correct in the sense that immediately after 9/11 you would recall there was incredible outpouring of support for the u.s. we are come to life rallies all around the world -- >> host: in the newspaper. we are all americans. >> guest: and i recall they are long after that news week did a piece where y do they hate us? and i said to michael, who is the editor.
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that's a wrong question. the right question would be, we have so many friends, how did we lose them? what happened? and there was a fear that angry superpower u.s. was lashing out, and anyone in the way may get in trouble and people were scared scared of america, scared of to speak of, and to say what they believe in. and i could see the trouble around the world talking to them which was unfortunate because the u.s. had done so much to create the u.n. so much for human rights and democracy and to suddenly find yourself in that situation was -- >> host: when wily a book we choose when ante-dote to put in if. and which words to repeat in it. the fact you choose to point out that criticism or be it for the global community and use the words enraged and vengeful, is
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that what you felt america was acting like? was that what you felt was driving america? >> guest: let me put it this way, they were determined to take action, i'm not sure they were ready to listen. and they were ready to listen to other views, and views from [inaudible] and when you're in that situation, you do make mistakes. you do also provoke others. >> host: just in the last few days archbishop called for george bush and tony blare to be made to answer to the international criminal court for lying about weapons of mass destruction. would you go as far as to support the archbishop's call? >> guest: no. i think men in leadership make many decisions. they get some right, they get
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some wrong, and some decisions are mownment tal and they warn the decision to -- [inaudible] in iraq was a hugely important and impact their for all of us to see. they obviously have to live with the consequences of those decisions and history will judge them. history will judge them and i think i want to leave it at that. they are men who have done some very positive things in other aspects for bush and blare but they have iraq wrong, in my judgment. i think we should leave history to judge. >> host: you don't think that the case for the international corp. >> guest: i'm not pushing for a case. i don't see a case, and i don't think the court i.t. will take any action, no. i wouldn't go that far. >> host: your chapter on iraq,
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i kept thinking about the secretary general. you were critical at the time. and i want [inaudible] the way that you saw your position that of team doctor or of referee in terms of america in the security council. >> guest: i think it was a bit of both and more than that because when the organization or the security council particular getting divided, the secretary general become very tricky. the secretary general has to keech working to bring the community together to get them to work together to find a solution. divisions -- it's not human endeavor to have divisions. what is important you find the leadership to pull people together to identify the common interest and move forward to work on them.
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so a secretary general, even if when you are against an action by a group of members and you are criticizing, yes, you should speak out. you should also now that you have to remain viable to be able to play the role of bringing the two sides together after the fight is over. >> host: that's tricky. >> guest: exactly. un>> guest: the people who criticize them sometimes have to explain to them, i knew that the war was going to lead to major disaster. it's easy to win the war. but winning the peace is even more challenging. i was also sure that we were going to be needed when it came to peace. when it cames to building the peace, it came to picking up the
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pieces after the war. that's what happened. i mean, the organization fell. they had an obligation to help the iraqi people regain their dignity, we keep their sovereignty and determine what their future would be, so when the council gave us a mandate to help we went in to see what we could. obviously, we have some tragic consequences losing some of our best men and women, but we had to do it. but the secretary general in these situations is very, very tricky. you have to navigate it. >> during the long week, when you were pushing for resolution, and so much attention was focused on you and you realize that america was really pushing for the war, what is going through your mind personally? how frustrating was that? >> guest: what was going through my mind was that is this
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war unavoidable? must we have this war? and i was also on the phone with lots of leaders around the world [inaudible] that america in africa and [inaudible] i was against the war with every fiber of my being how do we stop it. it became obvious that was unstoppable. i was relieved by the counsel did not give for the war. it would have been disaster for the united nations. i know, the time americans were set, that the urn u.n. and the counsel had not supported the war. i think today many americans on understand why and perhaps appreciate that the counsel and the u.n. took the right decision. >> what was the to be of your
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conversation with president bush at the end there? >> guest: that he was determined to act. he was determined to take action. he was determined to ensure that saddam hussein does not give the u.n. and the international community run around anymore. he was absolutely determined, and also convinced that he was taking the right decision. >> was he angry? glfg no. he was firm. i wouldn't say he was angry in the conversations with me. let's talk about peace keeping. it's something you spent a lot of time on as well. it's something that you spent a lot of time on in your career before you were secretary general you were head of the united peace keeping.
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[inaudible] called your book a study in the failure of a noble idea. is that a fair characterization of the united nations peace keeping organizations? >> i would have chosen different words. some of the points he make -- and perhaps i should ask the question when we talk of united u.n. in this context, who are we talking about? is it the member states who take the decisions, who give us a mandate, who give us a resources required to carry-on the mandate or sometimes not give us a resources to carry-on the mandate or we are talking of the secretary of general. because the u.n. is us. your government and mine.
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used to say that we often refer to the secretary general as sg for short. it doesn't stand for secretary general. it stands for a scapegoat. [laughter] there's a scapegoat action. exactly. there is a scapegoat function of the u.n. but member states and the media have to be very careful not to dump so much that we wouldn't even be useful as an alibi because really when we talk of the failures of somalia, of
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rwanda, of boss bosnia, and try to explain in the book the difficulties we have, the unwillingness of governments. we made mistakes. we could have done things differently. but in the investigations that i have done on rwanda and also bosnia and rwanda in particular said there was a reason for failure was lack of will to act and change. and i think when we look at these, we have to consider context. i'm taking a tough time to answer your question. i think it's important that the in somalia, where the president bush's father sent in thousands of soldiers to feed hungry somalis, it was an incredible
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noble initiative. he it it at the time of the elections. and the soldiers went in and did whatever they could. of course, the somalis were fight and resisting and sometimes you had food in warehouses, but you couldn't get to the people. they came in and broke up that lock jam so that we can feed the people. and then they -- the operation [inaudible] and u.s. troops. but the troops which lead somalia were not just the u.s. troops, almost every western government withdrew their troops. the best troops left somalia. and in the end, we collapsed. we had to close the operation down. there was the end of the '93 and beginning of '94, spring of '94
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we had rue wan dpa. when governments go through -- nobody was ready to send additional troops to the situation. >> host: you write in the weak they had watching somalia in rwanda. >> guest: that's correct. in fact, one of the fighters from somalia an rwanda told our peace keeping information, we watched cnn there was something similar. they killed ten bell belgium soldiers. and they gave instructions to protect only themselves. [inaudible] the commander was left with several hundred men do his work with a whole nation. there was a genocide going on and helpless situation where he couldn't have.
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we couldn't get the troops. some governments claim they didn't know it was happening. but then i asked them, what did they do when they found out it was happening? they sent in planes to evacuate their internationals and allow it to continue. but in the end we blame the u.n., you know. we all need to find a were better way of tackling these, and of course, somalia, rwanda, bosnia, and egypt the experience i lived through marked me and that was one of the reasons why i felt as intcialt community, we need to find a way of tackling these crisis better. and that lead to the responsibility to protect. >> host: talk a little bit more about some of the specific cases. you have an extraordinary count in the book in january of 1994, receiving a cable from an in
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rwanda who told you exactly what was going on to happen and it did happen. the idea of things take us by surprise you had the information and you yourself spent time calling heads of government to ask for more troops. >> guest: yes. the general who was a commander, met with an informant who claimed at the time to have information that there is a plan to kill, to seize, and there was an unarm -- [inaudible] talking the massive amount of arms that he knew or had been collected. and that he could take down to the location. [inaudible] talk abouted it and thought maybe he should go ahead and do. we as headquarter advised him to be careful that he don't have the mandate and the means and
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sometimes it's one of the most difficult decisions for a peace keeper. you can make your stand now. if you have limited resources, and the others call for reinforcement there's nothing you can do. given the somalia example if he had taken on [inaudible] a soldier had been killed the force would have withdrawn and in fact he lost two-thirds of his force when this happened. it wasn't because of call louseness that he said he should be careful. he didn't have the mandate. it was the assessment of the appetite of members states to take out these kinds of uprisings. it honestly, i don't think we would have had the resources we need to go in to help. and so we told them to be careful. >> host: in retrospect, when you look at rwanda, i'm sure you
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think about it a lot in the book this is something that marked 800,000 people being mass curred in three months. in retrospects is there something different you could have done? >> guest: i think one area we doesed at the time u.n. was very shy of the media. we could have used the media as a tool to put pressure on the governments to offer resources to do it. not that we were necessarily have a receipt but we could have put used the media and shouted from the rooftops totem what is happening. i don't think it would have had that much impact on the people in rwanda. the [inaudible] out of rwanda and people outside of rwanda may have said we cannot sit backlet do something. that something would have been i do not know.
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>> host: when you spoke to the government in your phone calls with heads of states, and rwanda was starting to unfold. you knew the mas considers what was happening. what was it they said to you the reason for not giving troops. >> guest: i spoke to the ambassador or its here or so. i think the -- often the reason is that think about it and will come back. which invariably meant no. we don't have the resources, all we are -- [inaudible] and we don't have the men to go in and you never really got a positive response you needed to be able to build a force. and in fact, at that time i had a canadian military adviser in the department of peace keeping.
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at the hospital others said we'll bive you a patrol cars we tested the system. it was effective. it worked well with, and as a result i said we have to quick --ed at least we know that with regetting -- and of course, these them and if they don't want to give them to you, there is nothing we can do. and also the u.n. that reimbursements rate some
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governments from doing it in the sense we borrowed the troops at that time and perhaps -- doesn't increase very much we pay [inaudible] we reimburse the government $1,000 per month or woman for some of the troops call their government four or five times eight times that much. >> host: we'll get to that in a second. in is and, what you have described in somalia and in rwanda. going to be seen as slightly marginal cases in terms of national security interest. can it ever work when you're asking the countries to intervene when they feel it's
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not something they have to intervene for. >> guest: you are right. before the collapse of the war, when gorbachev [inaudible] we had a situation where most of the peace keepers came from countries outside the members of the security counsel. because it was a sense that if you brought them in, you may politicalize the operations. after the -- after '89, some of them participated in these peace keeping operations which was in some cases helpful. they have the best trained well equipped men and women that could do these jobs the peace keeper is usually a well-trained soldier. it's not a soldier's work yet. a well-trained soldier is the only one who can do it effectively. when these awful countries have interest, they are able to put
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together a coalition of the willing, sometimes under the u.n. flag to go in and out. where they have no interest, they describe precisely what happens in fact, there are people the u.n. used to describe some crisis as often in the sense they have no champions. you know, a big country or a powerful country isn't interested, they leave the fight. they leave the fight for peace keepers. they leave the fight to [inaudible] to go in and there is no real national interest, you continue don't see it. this is what bush senior was quite extraordinary and clinton in somalia because it was really no national interest but compassion and unhumanitarian groups that could propel them to
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go in. >> host: we will talk about bosnia and of a and more of the book interventions in a bit. we are going to take a quick break. >> guest: thank you. on the go? after words is available via pod cast through itunes and x ml. visit and click pod cast. select the pod cast you want to download and listen to after words while you travel. before the break we were talking about rwanda and somalia and whether in cases mr. not a national security interest of a major power. you talk about crises and the u.n. peace keeping have a champion a year and a half after rue dwan we had the massacre. was bosnia a little different because it was in the heart of europe and there was more over
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of a security interest at least in european powers to get involved? >> guest: you're absolutely right. bosnia was different. bosnia had the attention. bossbosnia had the forces required that rue dwan did not have. -- rwanda did not have. [inaudible] it was a different kind the europeans had deployed troops through the u.n. peace keeping and subsequently through nato. they were leading the army was rather fin i can and -- [inaudible] as peace keeping. upon the governments. there's another aspect of peace keeping, we do not prepare the population for the possibility that there could be risks. and we keep the impression is
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always risk free. when you get in to these situations where people are killed or taken hostage, the population gets upset and the politicians panic enough and say brick the boys home. so that weakness in the peace keeping operation, if it's a national effort, they don't do that. they take the casualties and the effect sometime even reinforce the troops so they can get the work done. but in bosnia, what had happened was at one stage when it became clear that firm action needed to be taken against bosnia, the governments with troops on the ground, mainly the european government did not want to use their power. they felt it could [inaudible] at risk the u.s. had no troops on the ground wanted to use their power.
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and this lead to a -- until it was resolved. .. the richard holbrooke who pushed it. >> host: what we had in
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july 1995, overran, and united nations peacekeepers stood by and let it happen. >> guest: i would not use the phrase united nations peacekeepers stood by and let it happen. we had dutch companies, rather small group. this is also part of the problem in the sense i was very much involved. when they started talking of establishing safe areas, i had my commanders do a study, a study of what was required to make the save area truly safe. there were two things suggest. one, the disaster group, wide in diameter to get outside the on the range so that they cannot she surely attacked people. second, it would require 34,600
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troops. the member states would have none of that. in fact, they change the mandate and there was no way protection or anything in it, saying we will establish the safe area. they wanted it the weakest option, to the weakest option of 7600, for the areas. and when you do that, you're not able, and the diameter wasn't wide enough. they didn't have the resources to do it properly. and the peacekeepers who were, and there were several areas, agreed, so the peacekeepers who were there in separate nature, when they were [inaudible] by the serbian army really could
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not stand up, could not defend themselves, much less the local population. and i -- tran but it made a mockery of the idea of a safe haven. >> guest: i wouldn't argue with that. and this is the other point i was going to make, because in effect if you say that you're bringing in people to protect you, and i show you a safe area and met a safe haven and the sense that people get is finally, we are going to be safe. there's a safe haven. the u.n. troops are here, and nothing would happen. and to have allowed that to stand rather than be realistic and lower expectation and explain to the people and the public what we can do and not do is part of the problem with the u.n. peacekeepers. because i saw it in the middle east, in lebanon, southern
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lebanon. when you put a u.n. patrol and, three days later has become a village because people gather around it thinking it will give them some safety. >> host: but in the case, you don't think the dutch peacekeepers could of done anything more than they did? >> guest: they did not have the resources. they could have thought, but they didn't have the sort of weapons that were required. they were completely outgunned and out run. >> host: but when the dutch government had its own commission into what had happened, the whole government reside. the dutch clearly felt they were ashamed of what -- >> guest: but it was also an impossible situation to put those troops in. i used to talk to quite a lot of the commanders, and i think i've made this point where they would say yes, we can stand and fight and take them on today, and
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let's say you have 1000 dutch soldiers in there. and they come with reinforcements of 10,000 tomorrow, and they had no means of getting reinforcements, and at that time they take cover wasn't that effective. and so the commander sometimes make judgments that we on the outside may not agree with but they also know that the mandate, what is important is when we are going to take on these operations, we should go in on the necessary force to be able to get the work done. in peacekeeping we have a theory that you sometimes have to show force in order not to use force. i mean, for example, when the u.s. went to somalia -- went to
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-- there was no way the somali rebels were going to take them on. so you show force, but the u.n. often doesn't have that force even to show. we don't have force to get the essential work done. and the story i was going to tell was we got the minimum, for the safe areas, we got the minimum resources required, and the mandate was defined to read the -- to dissuade attacks on the enclaves. and the member states argued we haven't asked you to protect them because we know you don't have the means. and this is why we've chosen very carefully, uci presents to dissuade, behave -- [inaudible]
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are so well behaved, so gentlemanly, that they see u.n. blue helmet they won't shoot. >> host: you stand by peacekeepers who were there, the dutch peacekeeping operation that was there. you don't think they should have done more than they did? >> guest: i really do not see how much more they could have, after the fact one come in hindsight, people come up with all sorts of things they should have done, they could have done. they could have fought and taken for themselves and the others, and i'm sure they would have done it if they were sure of reinforcement, and their force on the horizon that would come to the aid. >> host: a lot of the incidence we talked about earlier, results that happen in africa, and you're not shy, being from ghana talk about
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africa's problems come to talk with a lack of institutions, the destructive impact of military machines, but you also write africans would not be able to dismiss my voice as easily as they could others. do you think that your words to africa have had a lasting impact? >> guest: yes. i can give you some examples. my first term, and summit of the african union, it was an organization of african states. it was there that i decided one should talk very clearly and openly to the african leaders and africans about the role of military and government. and suggested to them that we should not encourage coup leaders and we should not welcome those who take part by force. and they have to really respect
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the rule of law. two years later it had become a row in the african union, that they will not accept people who come to power by force. in fact, i recall one of the leaders in every game you have rules. and soccer if you misbehave we show you a red card. we should show these guys read cards and not welcome them here. it has had a real impact. recently, there've been a couple of truth by taking me say we will hand over, will have elections can we do not intend to stay. and they are prevented from joining the other heads of state. this is an african example that i thought the u.n. would follow, and make it universal. we never went that route, but at least it has had an impact in africa. and i also made some statements on conference, on human rights, respectful rule of law. which in a way has --
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[inaudible]. civil society can -- if they made some of the statements directed by themselves, they get into trouble. and so i felt with the robust civil society in africa, why should empower them and encourage them to speak out, to put pressure on the government, to do the right thing, to insist on respectful rule of law and human rights. and we have seen lots of progress, and i've seen some very good ngos on the continent. and then so i think in that way, that i couldn't dismissed as a close trying to interfere so i could speak frankly to them. and most of the time to listen to. >> host: did you ever frank conversations as secretary-general since being secretary-general with robert
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mcgarvey? >> guest: yes, i met him on many occasions. we talked about african politics. we talked about health issues. we talked about the fight against hiv/aids. i'm never trying to encourage him to get the people to use condoms because zimbabwe really was hit by the epidemic. and he was commute on his quite words. he was trained in a jazz was corporate and to reassure him, i said i'd even races with the pope, and i think you should think about it. he said mr. secretary-general, when it comes to condoms, the pope and i are one, you know. and wouldn't judge at the time, but zimbabwe has changed for better now. and it wasn't the only. it was another head of state, whom i try to encourage to speak out on hiv age, because it was a
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conspiracy of silence on the issue. and yet it was a situation where cyber incident death. we should speak out. we should educate and go out and and courage, to speak about contraception and increased their programs to keys and i am the father of the nation. i cannot go out and speak to people about contraception, and speak to them and encourage them to be promiscuous. and he wouldn't budge. >> host: you didn't see it either as part of your role as united nations secretary-general or more broadly as a global statesman to turn to robert mugabe and say, it's time for you to leave office, your people are suffering under your rule. do you see yourself as having the kind of a role in the world? could you have had that kind of a role? >> guest: i have spoken to mugabe and that the leaders
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about the future, about the time, to move on, but i don't, i cannot ascribe it to myself the authority or the power to say you leave office, or even today as a statesman. i can offer advice. i was -- [inaudible] i spoke to one year ago i went a long time or i can talk in terms of look around you, and see what is happening in north africa and the middle east. there are strong transitional winds blowing. that cannot be resisted and resisted for long. and you should plan ahead. you should think of the future. you should think of when you move on, and which are going to do next. i can discuss it with them in that context, but i cannot go and say you must leave, you must resign. after all, i didn't -- some of
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these people have been voted into officut overstayed, and i'm a general statement about leaders of the state and that the democratic rotation of leadership must work. so in those kind of discussions, i cannot tell the table and demand that the quick. >> host: we're talking others of course it may overstayed their welcome. you took on earlier this year the role of u.n. envoy for syria. i'm tempted to say that you must be lucky -- a glutton for punishment having taken on yet another one. what did you hope you could achieve when you took on a role that many people thought was going to fail? >> guest: i know that many people considered it a mission impossible and that was going to feel. >> host: and your successor has called just that. >> guest: yes. but he like me couldn't say no. i couldn't have said no when you
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saw the killing, the misery, and the potential for a crisis in syria that was likely to spill over the borders of syria. and affect the whole region. syria is not libbey. people tend to make simplistic comparisons. syria likely will not implode. syria could explode and it was built on the boards and create problems for everyone. and i felt i had to try. i gave it a shot, i did my best, but, of course, in the end i had to let go because the government in particular was in changing. their position -- the opposition had also picked up arms and it was increase in militarization of the conflict. the region was divided, and the security council that gave me the mandate were also divided, even though i tried very hard to bring them together.
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the last effort was a meeting in geneva on the 30th of june, where i brought together the foreign ministers of the permanent members of the security council. so they're all in geneva with the foreign ministers, iraq, turkey, kuwait, qatar, and they secretaries general of the league of arab states and the u.n. and we came to an agreement on political settlement that you need political transition. and went further and even defined what political transition meant. that he would mean an interim government with four executive powers, and to assure that security forces have top notch leadership, and teeming to ensure the continuing -- continuity, so that you don't have chaotic collapse. but the moment you begin talking
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of government with full executive powers, it means aside is out or on his way out. the difference, which is total business today is for some, he has to leave before the process, for others he leaves during the process. and i had thought that they would come to new york and then the security council and build on it. >> hostit. but instead to get into another acrimonious discussions on the 19th of june, and we -- the geneva committee has not been endorsed. >> host: do you worry that the annan peace plan gave bosch on the side a fig leaf to say -- gave on the side, but you to carry on telling people? >> guest: that is what some people say. but i believe that the elements
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of the six-point plan will have to be implemented as we go sooner or later. it was designed to end the violence, to ensure that the thousands who are in prison, would be released. free access to humanitarian help, and so forth. so to create an environment that would lead us to the political discussions which will have to come. but when they say that they gave assad, first of all let me put it this way. that i carried a year after the conflict started, and i'm sure they're going to say the same about others taking off, what is
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it that should've been done, and could have been done, by the international community that the discussion and the mediation with assad stopped us from doing. i also felt that if we had had that concerted and determine support with pressure on the parties, we probably could have had a chance for the plan. >> host: support and pressure from where? >> guest: from the international given that the community was never united, and russia was not going to really put pressure on assad, your mission in a sense was set up to fail. and that just gave assad an excuse, a time, bought him time in which he could carry on killing his citizens. >> guest: i'm not sure you're entirely right, right. i know the argument, that people say that you have many people, even today, who are not
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interested in negotiations and in diplomatic effort. they see the only solution as a military one. they are waging for interventi intervention, or waiting for more arms to be able to get rid of assad. that's one option. but we need to be careful not to think of the whole problem is one that will into her assad but even if assad were to leave today we have lots of problems to deal with in syria. my approach, which i also believe -- first albany talk about the plan, it is a security council plan. the security council endorsed it through the resolution, which all five permanent members signed onto. and they should have gone in to put pressure on the parties. for example, on the 12th of april when the cease-fire went
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into force, that morning the whole country was quiet. both sides stop firing. and for a while violence went down 80%. and then it escalated again. what to do countries do to try to help consolidate, to put pressure on the friends in the region on the groups they are supporting, to go along with the cease-fire? because if you do not have a serious political transition plan, getting rid of assad will not be enough. i shouldn't be saying so much about syria when that somebody else doing the job. i should not complicate his life. he's a brilliant mediator. he's a very wise man, and i think if the gets a support,
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united support from the security council, he may make a difference. >> host: that is a very big if. you say in the book, talking about the arab spring, and not syria, that you remain optimistic about the changes that are taking place in the middle east. there are plenty of examples we don't know what the changes are going to be. what's -- what makes you optimistic? >> guest: i think the optimism comes from the fact bad for the first time in decades, the people in these countries are standing up to discuss how they are governed and by whom, and to demand a say in their own destiny. i firmly believe that healthy balanced societies are built on three pillars. stability, if you wish peace and stability. the second one is development
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and growth. and a third which i think is the most important is respect for rule of law and human rights. because honestly you cannot have long-term development without stability. and you cannot have long-term stability without development. but both have to be rooted in the rule of law and respect for human rights. we have 10 million in the past, including the u.s., when you're dealing with these nations to focus on stability. it's a stable country. then we'll move onto onto the second pillar. doing well economically. stable, critical economic growth but we forget that number which is often the most important, this is what the people are demanding. and in the end, if they persist and work with each other and our
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figures, they should be able to build a healthy society based on the three pillars that i am referring to. >> host: do you think it's a lack of adherence by the international community to those three pillars, particularly the third pillar, that as tax make peace in the middle east, something of course that was huge part of your time is secretary-general of the united nations, so difficult to achieve. >> guest: i think that is a power in the sense that they didn't want to take on friends, allies, and they don't want to criticize them. and so everyone, approach the problems resolve the, there was a tendency to really focus on security arms, economic as changes in stability. and very rarely talk about rule
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of law and human rights. they did it in other parts of the world but not so much in that region. because of sensitivity. and i think the people have brought in that change. they are upswing has opened the door and now governments are speaking much more broadly about human rights and rule of law. >> host: you spoke about day and you criticize the united states, particularly in this area in the book for having what you call a reflexive reaction against any palestinian use of united nations. utilization of the united nations. do you think america is standing in the way of a broader peace effort in the middle east? >> guest: i cannot say that america -- i do say america's standing in the way. what i can say is that it will require a sustained and determined effort by the u.s.,
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working with some of the countries in the region, and europe to bring about peace in the region. it has not been sustained. in fact, i'm not sure i can say there is a peace process today. and i think the u.s. has such a pivotal role to play. and both parties look to u.s. leadership. there were times when you look to see if one had gotten very close. when president putin was trying to get the solution, working at night, on the point it seemed very close. but since then we haven't been that close, and there hasn't been a real effort to bring the parties together. and there are people who are now
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beginning to wonder if the two points solution, the two-state solution is not evaporating. that they may be questionable basis for the two-state solution. >> host: kofi annan, you call the book "interventions: a life in war and peace" and i must ask you finally whether looking back at your long career in global affairs, has there been more war or more peace? >> guest: i think it is, in terms of wars come and there are a few civil wars today than we had in the past. and there's also a few interstate wars, but we have other problems. we are dealing with the world that have so many problems, not just serve the wars between states. we've internationally organized crime. we have concerns of a weapons of mass destruction. we have a consensus with the
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environment and the same pattern, our life. we have health issues, avian flu that can fly around the world very quickly. and so in terms of wars, there are fewer wars today that there are many other problems that we need to deal with in addition to wars, which either did not exist or we were not entirely question ourselves. >> host: kofi annan, the book is "interventions." thank you for joining us. >> guest: thank you.
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